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HQ 965886

December 3, 2002

CLA-2 RR:CR:TE 965886 ttd


TARIFF NO: 4418.90.4590

Mr. Louis Reny
Renyco Inc. - Doweloc™
175 A Alexandre, 2 etage, C.P. 1080
Thurso, Quebec J0X 3B0

RE: Revocation of New York Ruling Letter F85424; Doweloc™ Scaffolding Planks from Canada

Dear Mr. Reny:

This letter is pursuant to Customs reconsideration of New York Ruling Letter (NY) F85424, dated April 17, 2000, regarding classification under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) of Doweloc™ scaffolding planks from Canada. After review of NY F85424, Customs has determined that the classification of the scaffolding planks considered under subheading 4421.90.9840, HTSUSA, was incorrect.

Pursuant to section 625(c)(1) Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1625(c)(1)) as amended by section 623 of Title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103-82, 107 Stat. 2057, 2186), notice of the proposed revocation of NY F85424 was published on October 23, 2002, in the Customs Bulletin, Volume 36, Number 43. As explained in the notice, the period within which to submit comments on this proposal was until November 22, 2002. No comments were received in response to this notice.


In NY F85424, Customs described the merchandise as follows:

The panel consists of two pieces of 2 x 3 (nominal) spruce, pine or fir (SPF) on the outer edges and three pieces of 1.5” x 1.5” laminated veneer lumber (LVL) in the center. The five vertically assembled pieces of wood are held together with aluminum or steel dowels which are inserted across the width of the panel at 24 inch intervals. The use of metal dowels for assembly in this manner is referred to as the Doweloc™ process. The overall measurements of the panel are 9.5 inches wide, 1.5 inches thick and 9 to 16 feet long.

In NY F85424, Customs classified the subject scaffolding planks under subheading 4421.90.9840, HTSUSA, which provides for “Other articles of wood: Other: Other: Other, Other.”


What is the proper classification of the subject merchandise?


Classification under the HTSUSA is made in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation (GRI). GRI 1 provides, in part, that classification decisions are to be “determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes.” In the event that goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, and if the headings and legal notes do not otherwise require, the remaining GRI may then be applied.

The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (EN) constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level (for the 4 digit headings and the 6 digit subheadings) and facilitate classification under the HTSUSA by offering guidance in understanding the scope of the headings and GRI. While neither legally binding nor dispositive of classification issues, the EN provide commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUSA and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of the headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127-28 (Aug. 23, 1989).

Chapter 44, HTSUS, provides for, among other things, wood and articles of wood. This chapter is structured so that less processed wood appears at the beginning of the chapter followed by more advanced wood in later headings within the same chapter. Thus, for example, heading 4403, HTSUS, is a general provision for wood in the rough, whether or not stripped of bark or sapwood or roughly squared, and heading 4421, HTSUS, is a basket provision for more advanced articles of wood that cannot be classified elsewhere in the chapter.

Regarding the subject merchandise, the competing headings under consideration are heading 4407, HTSUSA, which covers wood sawn or chipped lengthwise; heading 4418, HTSUSA, which covers builders' joinery and carpentry of wood; and heading 4421, HTSUSA, which covers other articles of wood. As heading 4407 resides near the beginning of chapter 44, it reflects coverage of a relatively basic category of lumber products in relation to either heading 4418 or 4421, which residing closer to the end of the chapter, reflect coverage of a relatively more advanced category of products.

Heading 4407, HTSUSA, provides for "Wood sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed, of a thickness exceeding 6 mm." As the subject merchandise is made of five vertically assembled pieces of wood (two S-P-F pieces on the outside edges and 3 LVL pieces in the center) held together with aluminum or steel dowels, it is advanced beyond the sawn wood of heading 4407, HTSUSA. Therefore, the scaffolding planks are precluded from classification in heading 4407, HTSUSA.

Heading 4418, HTSUSA, provides for, among other things, builder’s joinery and carpentry of wood. The EN to heading 4418, HTSUS, state in pertinent part:

This heading applies to woodwork, including that of wood marquetry or inlaid wood, used in the construction of any kind of building, etc., in the form of assembled goods or as recognizable unassembled pieces (e.g., prepared with tenons, mortises, dovetails or other similar joints for assembly), whether or not with their metal fittings such as hinges, locks, etc.

The term "joinery" applies more particularly to builders' fittings (such as doors, windows, shutters, stairs, door or window frames), whereas the term "carpentry" refers to woodwork (such as beams, rafters and roof struts) used for structural purposes or in scaffoldings, arch supports, etc., and includes assembled shuttering for concrete constructional work. ...

As referenced above, the EN to heading 4418 specifically identifies scaffolding as being within the scope of the heading. Given that the subject merchandise is processed beyond the sawn wood of heading 4407, HTSUSA, and is specifically named in the EN to heading 4418, it is properly classified in heading 4418, HTSUSA. See HQ 965693, dated August 5, 2002, wherein Customs classified edge-glued, finger-jointed planks with steel rods in subheading 4418.90.4590, HTSUSA.

We note that heading 4421, HTSUSA, which provides for "Other articles of wood," is a basket provision for more advanced articles of wood that cannot be classified elsewhere in the chapter. As the subject scaffolding planks are more specifically provided for in heading 4418, HTSUSA, they are precluded from classification in heading 4421, HTSUSA.


The engineered wood scaffolding planks are classified in subheading 4418.90.4590, HTSUSA, which provides for "Builders' joinery and carpentry of wood, including cellular wood panels and assembled parquet panels; shingles and shakes: Other: Other, Other." The general one column rate of duty is 3.2 percent ad valorem.

NY F85424 is hereby REVOKED. In accordance with 19 U.S.C. §1625(c), this ruling will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Customs Bulletin.


Myles B. Harmon, Acting Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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